Pelosi: Statement on President Signing Into Law the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act

Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi released the following statement this afternoon after the President signed the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, which will prohibit health insurance companies and employers from discriminating against people on the basis of genetic test results.

“The sequencing of the human genetic code is one of the great scientific accomplishments in the history of the world.  It has the potential to treat and prevent disease and answer the prayers of millions.  But with this scientific breakthrough comes a responsibility to protect Americans from the misuse of their genetic information.

“By signing the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, President Bush has joined the Congress in recognizing significant scientific progress while ensuring that our laws reflect this progress.

“Today is the result of 13 long years of effort by a number of steadfast advocates.  In the House, Chairwoman Louise Slaughter has worked ceaselessly for this legislation.  In the Senate, Chairman Ted Kennedy has fought tirelessly for its passage and for the health of all Americans.  It is that same strength that Senator Kennedy is now using as he faces another challenge – this time to his health.  We know this strength will serve him well, and we pray for him and his entire family.”